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Next Steps

Two women working in a shop
Published: June 2016

Next Steps is a major research study following the lives of 16,000 people in England born in 1989-90.


This cohort study of around 16,000 people born in England in 1989-1990 bridges the gap between the 1970 British Cohort Study and the Millennium Cohort study.

By collecting information about participants’ circumstances we can see how their lives have changed.

We are conducing this survey along with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies.

Findings so far

Tackling inequality

A person’s background makes a difference to educational attainment. Only 20% of teenagers from the most disadvantaged backgrounds get five GCSEs grade A*-C including English and maths, compared with 75% from the richest families.

Experience of work

Next Steps has highlighted the difficulties that this generation is experiencing, having entered the job market during the deepest recession since the 1930s. At age 18, 16% were unemployed, compared with just 7% of 18-year-olds back in 1988. The study also showed that many more had had to scale back their ambitions and take any job that came along.

Evidence on bullying

The findings showed that school bullying not only affects how people feel at the time, but also their school exam results and later job prospects. 


Next Steps is a mixed-mode longitudinal survey. Cohort members were interviewed every year from the ages of 13-14 to 19-20 and Wave 8 in 2015 will be the first time they have been contacted since then, at the age of 24-25. For Wave 8, interviews will be conducted via a web self-completion or by telephone or face-to-face interview.